The Night Before Christmas - A Parent's Perspective



Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house,

I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse,

Instructions were studied and we were inspired,

in hopes we could manage "Some Assembly Required."



The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,

while Dad and I faced the evening with dread:

A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's town house to boot!

And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!



We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat

"let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!"

Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;

if we can't get it right, it goes in the basement!



When what to my worrying eyes should appear

but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,

With each part numbered and every slot named,

so if we failed, only we could be blamed.



More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,

all over the carpet they were scattered about.

"Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!

Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!

"Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand."

"Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand."



And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact,

that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact ,

to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night,

with "assembly required" till morning's first light.



We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,

till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.

The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin,

before we attached the last rod and last pin.



Then laying the tools away in the chest,

we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.

But I said to my husband just before I passed out,

"This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.



Tomorrow we'll cheer, let the holiday ring,

and not have to run to the store for a thing!

We did it! We did it! The toys are all set

for the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!"



Then off to dreamland and sweet repose,

I gratefully went, though I suppose,

there's something to say for those self-deluded,

I'd forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!

Homeless brothers in line to inherit billions

Hungarian cave-dwellers could split grandmother's $6.6 billion fortune
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Talk about a reversal of fortunes.

Two brothers who are so poor they live in a cave on the outskirts of Budapest and get by selling scavenged junk are in line to receive a $6.6 billion inheritance from a long-lost grandmother, the U.K. Daily Telegraph reports.

Zsolt and Geza Peladi have been informed that they are entitled to the fortune, along with a sister who lives in the United States, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Charity workers in Hungary passed on the good news to the brothers after being contacted by lawyers handling the estate of their maternal grandmother, who died recently in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, the Telegraph said.

“We knew our mother came from a wealthy family but she was a difficult person and severed ties with them, and then later abandoned us and we lost touch with her and our father until she eventually died,” Geza Peladi, 43, was quoted as saying by ATV television in Hungary.

“If this all works out it will certainly make up for the life we have had until now — all we really had was each other — no women would look at us living in a cave,” said Geza Peladi.

“But with money, maybe we can find a partner and finally have a normal life. We don’t know yet if she even told our grandmother about us. I understand it was only while they were carrying out genealogical research that lawyers found we existed.”

Under German law, direct descendants are automatically entitled to a share of any estate. As the grandmother’s daughter is dead, the money goes to her grandchildren.

The brothers said they are trying to track down their mother's death certificate to prove relation to their grandmother before traveling to Germany to claim the fortune.

The newspaper report didn’t say how the grandmother, whose name was not made public, amassed the fortune.

~ Words for Life's Journey ~



Only in America...can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance...

Only in America...are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink...


Only in America...do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get a prescription while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.


Only in America...do people order double cheese burgers, a large fry, and a diet coke...

Only in America...do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters...

Only in America...do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and leave useless junk in the garage...

Only in America...do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place...


Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up, depends upon what you’re made of ~ Author Unknown

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute. look at it and really see it...live it and never give it back. ~ Erma bombeck

~ Sunday Lyrics ~


The Words I Would Say - Sidewalk Prophets


Three in the morning, and I’m still awake
So I picked up a pen and a page
And I started writing just what I’d say
If we were face to face

I’d tell you just what you mean to me
Tell you these simple truths

CHORUS
Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Last time we spoke you said you were hurting
And I felt your pain in my heart
I want to tell you that I keep on praying
That love will find you where you are

I know cause I’ve already been there
So please hear these simple truths

CHORUS

Say… from one simple life to another
I will say… come find peace in the Father

Be strong in the Lord
And never give up hope
You’re gonna do great things
I already know
God’s got His hand on You
So don’t live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don’t forget why you’re here

Take your time and pray
And thank God for each day
His love will find a way
These are the words I would say



The Words I Would Say - sung by Sidewalk prophets

I’m Thankful for…

My salvation through Christ
A loving husband that looks out for me
My 91 year-old mom
Faithful friends that I hold dear
And…

For the first time in about 25 years, I’m NOT working retail on Black Friday !!!!

Have a wonderful Turkey Day!

~ Pumpkin Dessert Squares ~




Pumpkin Dessert Squares


Preparation Time: 15mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Serves: 8-12

Ingredients:

CRUST:
1 box yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten

FILLING:
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup milk

TOPPING:
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup reserved cake mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preparation: Thoroughly mix crust ingredients and press into 9x13 baking pan.
Mix filling ingredients and put on top of crust.

Mix topping and spread over filling.
Bake at 350° 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cool. Garnish with whipped cream if desired.


After it cooled, I cut it into small squares, and put it in cupcake papers.
Today I'll be taking this to work for a little pre-taste of Thanksgiving !

"What Faith Can Do"

Everybody falls sometimes,
Gotta find the strength to rise,
From the ashes and make a new beginning,
Anyone can feel the ache,
You think it’s more than you can take,
But you are stronger, stronger than you know,
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining,
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining.

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains,
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen,
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard,
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try,
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water,
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing,
You will find your way
If you keep believing.

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise .


Kutless - What Faith Can Do
From the album ~ It Is Well ~

~ Wooden letter blocks ~

Another easy craft I made for Fall were these lettered wooden blocks.
The wood blocks cost $ 2.29 for a package of 6.
I painted the blocks burgandy red. then
I cut patterned paper squares and glued them to the blocks.


I cut smaller squares out of scrap linen material and raveled the edges a bit.
Glued those on...

then printed large - font letters on tan colored paper, using the computer...
cut them out, glued, finished !


On the reverse side, I chose the word " WINTER "


SPRING and SUMMER are also 6 letters, so you could do any combination!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Listen ...

The wind is rising
and the air is wild with leaves.
Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting,
and autumn ...a mosaic of them all.


STANLEY HOROWITZ

~ Autumn's Last Leaves ~


~ Autumn’s Last Leaves ~


Spiraling downward how quickly they go,
Dancing and twirling as winter winds blow,
Withered and dry, all crinkled and crushed,
More battered and bruised with each frosty gust.

Torn from their perch to doom and decay,
The treetops wave as they’re carried away.
Another season is rounding the bend,
Another autumn is nearing it’s end.

Farewell, farewell once beauteous leaves,
Your vibrant colors have dressed our trees,
You offered us shade from hot summer sun,
Alas, farewell…your work is done.

Sandra Combs ~ Plymouth, Massachusetts

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
"I love fall!
 Fall is exciting.

It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.
It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.
It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall. That's why...
I love fall."
- Author Unknown

~ Sunday Lyrics ~


Perfect People by Natalie Grant

Never let 'em see you when you're breaking
Never let 'em see you when you fall
That's how we live and that's how we try
Tell the world you've got it all together
Never let them see what's underneath
Cover it up with a crooked smile
But it only lasts for a little while

[CHORUS:]
There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart and be amazed
And be changed by a perfect God !

Who lived and died to give new life
To heal our imperfections
So look up and see love. Let grace be enough

Suddenly it's like a weight is lifted
When you hear the words that you are loved
He knows where you are and where you've been
And you never have to go there again

[CHORUS:]
There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart and be amazed
And be changed by a perfect God !

10 minute pumpkin....

I found this pumpkin craft somewhere on the internet and I thought it was a clever idea for only ten minutes of my time.


I bought 20 inches of pumpkin material (45 inches wide) and cut it on the fold
giving me two pieces. (One for you and one for a friend).

Grab a roll of toilet paper and sit it in the center of one piece of fabric.

Tuck the fabric into the center hole of the roll (no need to glue anything)

cut a piece of brown paper bag about 12 " long and fold accordion style.

Add some raffia, if you've got any, fold in half and push it into the center.

I added a piece of green plaid fabric for leaves.

And there you are!...a instant fall decoration!

Dollar store finds....


a pumpkin and an old - style honeycomb decoration...

" HARVEST" pumpkins and crows and cornstalks....

two heavy - duty tea towels in fall colors....

~ FALL ~
"I love fall! Fall is exciting.

It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.
It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.
It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall. That's why...
I love fall."
- Author Unknown

~ Adoring autumn ~

Here's just a few of the many photos that I've taken recently....
(just click for a larger view)


"October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter."- Nova Bair



"The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly
changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools."- Henry Beston, Northern Farm


"When the bold branches Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -Welcome wool sweaters."
- B. Cybrill


Enjoy !

So much color...

So little time !


**EASY PUMPKIN CAKE**

Take any white cake mix & mix as directed.
Add 1 c. of canned pumpkin
Add 2 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice

Mix & cook as directed on the box.

**FROSTING**
Make a cream cheese frosting,
add 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract to the frosting.
Mix & spread.



PUMPKIN COOKIES


Ingredients:
1 box of Spiced Cake Mix
1 15 oz can of Libby's Pumpkin
1 cup (or more:) of chocolate chips

Directions:
With a mixer, beat together the cake mix and pumpkin.
Add the chocolate chips and bake at 350 degrees for 12 min.



Enjoy the Fall...Y'all!

~ True Love ~


My friend, Joycee, over at  "Granny Mountain " posted this touching story. I hope you feel that enduring love...

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?” He smiled as he patted my hand and said, “She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.”
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, that is the kind of love I want in my life.

True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been,
will be, and will not be.

Tell someone you love them today.

5 foods that help you sleep:

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com


Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

Cherries
Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep.

Bananas
Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin.

Toast
Carbohydrate-rich foods trigger insulin production, which induces sleep. Bring on sleepiness by speeding up the release of tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep.

Oatmeal
Like toast, a bowl of oatmeal will trigger insulin production, raising blood sugar naturally and making you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which many people take as a sleep aid.

Warm milk
Like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It's also high in calcium, which promotes sleep.

Have a good night…( yawn )

~ Words for Life's Journey ~



I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things:
a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you’ll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a life.

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something backs sometimes.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an
open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug,
or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

This ain't no poodle...



A 3-year-old Landseer Newfoundland in CASSELTON, N.D.,that measures 3 feet tall at the shoulders and 7 feet long from nose to destructive wagging tail, might be the world's tallest living dog. The owner says her 3-year-old Landseer Newfoundland keeps all four paws on the floor when he drinks from the kitchen faucet in her family's eastern North Dakota farm house.
His name is " Boomer" ( I can see why)
He stares into car windows eye to eye with drivers. A 20-pound bag of dry dog food lasts the 180-pound canine a couple of weeks. Owner Carlyn Weber says her furry black and white dog "comes into the house and his tail is so high everything gets knocked around."
Weber plans to send Boomer's measurements to Guinness World Records. The previous record holder was a nearly 4-foot-tall Great Dane that died this summer.

I'm just sayin'...

Where is Kayne when you need him???


Please tell me what he's done to prove himself worthy in this short time... to be put in the same class as Mother Theresa ??

I'm just sayin'...

A couple years ago, Jack bought me a good digital camera, and he always says that it's the best investment he ever made. He knows that there is nothing I like better than to spend a day taking pictures. He'll take a vacation day to go with me so that I can get a snapshot of this:




He will travel miles chasing sunsets for me, never complaining, to get this:


and even backtrack so that I can get that picture I missed...



Next week he's taking me to the mountains just so I can take photos of a couple of these:



uhhmmm...well maybe...about a MILLION of those,
He knows how much I like taking pictures so he does it to make me happy.
I love that about him...and a whole lot more.

~ THINGS ABOUT FALL THAT MAKE ME SMILE ! ~

Indian corn and raffia
homemade soup
plump orange pumpkins
wood-burning fireplaces
bonfires and hayrides
piles of raked leaves
homemade crusty bread
tattered scarecrows
baskets of apples
bountiful harvest

geese heading north
crisp fall days
warm spiced cider
squirrels gathering acorns
canning jars of vegetables
warm bulky sweaters
and …

Vivid autumn colors !!

Gee, I got an award !!

My thanks goes out to my new blogger friend, Beverly, over at "The 3 Clutters"
for giving me the "Over the Top Award ".

What a nice surprise !


Please stop over and check out this W.V.gal's blog...I think you'll like it!
Now it is my job to pass this onto 6 other blogs...so here goes:

Smiling Country Ranch - A country girl with great recipes!

Apron of the Month Club - She's very creative!

Granny Mountain - The bright spot of the Ozark Mountains !

Needled Mom - She's always buzy makin' something beautiful!

I love you all day long - A busy Mom that will tell you how to live simply and save money!

As part of receiving the award there is a fun survey.

After taking it, pass it onto the recipients you choose.


Here are the rules for the Over the Top Award:

1. You Can Only Use One Word in your survey answers!

2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers!

3. Alert them that you have given them this award!!!

4. Have fun!

Here is my survey::


1. Where is your cell phone? - Car
2. Your hair? - Short

3. Your mother? - Believer

4. Your father? - Past

5. Your favorite food? - Italian

6. Your dream last night? - none!

7. Your favorite drink? - Tea

8. Your dream/goal? - retired

9. What room are you in? - Office

10. Your hobby? - Photography

11. Your fear? - Heights

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? - Healthy

13. Where were you last night? - Home

14. Something that you aren’t? - Prejudice

15. Muffins? - Yummy

16. Wish list item? - SLR

17. Where did you grow up? - Pennsylvania

18. Last thing you did? - Drive

19. What are you wearing? - PJs

20. Your TV? - Off

21. Your pets? - cockatiels

22. Friends? - Faithful

23. Your life? - Busy

24. Your mood? - Good

25. Missing someone? - Son

26. Vehicle? - Ford

27. Something you’re not wearing? - shoes

28. Your favorite store? - BigLots

29. Your favorite color? - Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed? - Today

31. Last time you cried? - Yesterday

32. Your best friend? - Many

33. One place that I go to over and over? - Work

34. One person who emails me regularly? - Rosie

35. Favorite place to eat? - Restaurant

So go ahead and get to know each other better !!